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Fibroblast Transplants as Alzheimer's Therapy

Jerry Clayton claytonj at essex.hsc.colorado.edu
Thu Jun 15 00:07:51 EST 1995

herwin at osf1.gmu.edu (HARRY R. ERWIN) wrote:
>There are a pair of articles in the June 8 issue of Nature that suggest
>that transplanted fibroblasts engineered to release ACh may be effective
>in treating syndromes like Alzheimer's.
>Is this likely to reopen the debate about fetal transplants?
>Harry Erwin
>Internet: herwin at gmu.edu
>WWW: http://osf1.gmu.edu/~herwin
>PhD student in comp neurosci: "Glitches happen" & "Meaning is emotional"

Not likely.  The whole focus of using genetically engineered cells to provide missing neurotransmitters, growth factors etc. is to get away from the use of fetal tissue as a source of these compounds.  Of course this doesn't necessarily work in situations where discrete connections are required for repair.  Currently, therapy for Parkinson's is focused on resupplying dopamine either through drugs, fetal tissue, engineered cells etc.  Work on Alzheimers is also similarly based.  The use of genetically engineered cells is a rapidly expanding field in the area of neuroscience and promises to be very exciting in the next few years.

Jerry Clayton, Phd
Dept. Neurology
Univ. of Colorado Health Sciences Center
claytonj at essex.hsc.colorado.edu

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